Show Summary Details

p. 636. Physicalism: is it all transference?locked

  • Stephen Mumford
  •  and Rani Lill Anjum

Abstract

‘Physicalism: is it all transference?’ considers what causation is rather than what our concept of cause is. It begins with physical transference theories – the physical transfer of energy from one place to another. The concept of reciprocity is discussed where causation does not just change the effect: there is also an equal and opposite change to the cause. Understanding causation as a physical process could allow us to solve the well-known problem of common causes, but it becomes problematic when considering non-physical subjects such as economics and psychology. Reductionism and emergentism are also explained; when considered as something that also occurs between wholes, causation becomes a bit more manageable.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.